VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville Farmers Market begins its 12th season on Wednesday, June 17 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. with special regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19.
It will run every Wednesday for 15 weeks until Sept. 30.
Located at First United Methodist Church on 68 Maple Ave., it joins several other local farmers markets like those in Colonie and Delmar in returning this year despite the pandemic. This is because the state Department of Agriculture and Markets established that farmers markets and food-producing farms are considered essential food supply chain industries.
“I was thrilled that farmers’ markets are considered essential and with all the problems with meat and supply shortages, this is a time people should be supporting their local farmers,” said Dianne Luci, who founded the Voorheesville Farmers Market 12 years ago. “This year, it will look a little different and everyone needs to be safely apart.”
Luci said vendors will be placed eight feet apart from one another; all vendors and customers must wear masks.
Vendors — mostly selling food, produce, meat and soap — will include Carr’s Creek Soap, Buhrmaster Farm, Euro Delicacies, Fort Hunter Farms, Glen Glade Farm, Glow Stone Bakery, Mission Table, Mountain Winds Farm, Partridge Run Farm and Apiary, and Worldlings Pleasure.
She added that vendors will only offer takeout. “One of the new guidelines is that you can’t eat on the premises and we just want people to come shop and leave,” she said. “I’m still going to have some chairs out, mainly for the elderly if they’re lining up too long.”
While most vendors accept cash, some take credit card payments, Luci said.
There will also be taped markings on the ground throughout the farmers market to remind people how to socially distance from one another and handle potential overcrowding. A hand sanitizer station and masks will be available too.
Luci said that every week, people are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item or toiletry product to a designated box at the farmers market. “The donations will go to the New Scotland Food Pantry,” she said. “Even though New Scotland is seen as a wealthy community, all food pantries have been in short supply of things and we want to continue to encourage people to give.”
However, there will be no live music, cooking demonstrations or sampling from open containers this year.
Luci said when the pandemic first worsened in the Capital District in mid-March, she initially did not know whether the farmers market could continue this year. “I reached out to everybody and a lot of my vendors have been with us for 12 years,” she said. “Some of them had already started being at other farmers’ markets this year so they have a feel on what they can and can’t do.”
In all her years of running the Voorheesville Farmers Market, Luci said she “absolutely [has] not” experienced a situation like a global pandemic affect its operations before. But she felt that continuing the market this year is important “because I think it’s really become a tradition every year.”
For more information, visit Voorheesville Farmers Market’s website at www.voorheesvillefarmersmarket.com or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VoorheesvilleFarmersMarket.